03 February 2014

Roll on Monday

This has not been a  good week in the Alcoholic Daze calendar and I can't wait for normality and Monday.

About 6 months ago, I had been to see my GP about two strange marks that had erupted on my face. One on my chin - a gingery irregular circle-shaped thing about the size of a 50p piece which has grown very slowly over the space of 8 years. It has not responded one jot over the years to the various lotions and potions prescribed by the different GPs who have diagnosed everything from solar keratosis to ringworm to a liver spot. It is apparently none of these and refuses to leave the space taken up on my chin. I went to see a GP again last  summer, as I wanted another attempt at getting them to diagnose what it really was or at least refer me to a dermatologist. Almost in passing I had also mentioned the second mark - a pearly white spot on my forehead which suddenly appeared almost overnight about 9 months ago. That turned out to be immediately more suspect and worthy of a referral than the gingery mark. Before I knew it, I had had a skin biopsy  on the pearly spot and the result, which I received back in November, was that it is a basal cell carcinoma.

The very word "carcinoma" is enough to give me the heebie-jeebies, but I was assured that, although a cancer, it does not spread to other parts of the body, grows slowly and can be removed with success. So far so good.

Fast forward to last Thursday when I finally got an appointment with the consultant dermatologist to look at it. She confirmed to the fourth-year medical student at her elbow that the pearly thing on my forehead was indeed a basal cell carcinoma and talked her through how to recognise it with its "rolled edges" when the skin is squeezed. Talk then moved to the gingery thing on my chin. With much prodding and poking and staring at it through an illuminated magnifier, the consultant first admitted she hadn't a clue what it was ("oh no, I'm to be a guinea pig", I thought) but then she later decided it too might be a variation of a basal cell carcinoma. "Best get another biopsy to make sure" she said. So now my chin is sporting two stitches, as well as the scar from the original biopsy stitches I had on my forehead back in September. My face is so resembling a patchwork quilt!  Long story short, I'm being referred to a maxillofacial surgeon for the offending growths to be excised.

So that is how my weekend started with the thought that if the chin one has to be removed, I could have a hole in it the size of Siberia and look like Quasimodo. Probably all my fault too, because, as a teenager back in the Swinging Sixties, I used to soak up the sun.  In addition, my Dad had a table-top ray lamp that could be used as infra red for his bad back. It had a switch to convert it to ultra-violet rays which is what I would use it for and stick my face 6 inches away from it to tan my face. We sadly didn't know the danger in those days.

Saturday was the 13th anniversary of my father's death. My mother still misses him dreadfully and each year seems to get more painful for her than easier. I had on the agenda a lunch out at a local carvery to distract her which I think did the trick, although I did feel a tad self-conscious walking around with two stitches in my chin, as if I had done ten rounds with Mike Tyson or emerged from a Frankenstein set. At least we got a table away from anyone else. I think they thought we were going to be trouble. Sunday was the 13th anniversary of the worst day of my life. I can't help it, but the two dates always bring back such rotten memories on both losses.

Sorry if this post is a bit depressing, but that really sums up my crappy week.  From here on, this week has only got to get better, hasn't it?

11 comments:

Gone Back South said...

Hi again. Sorry to hear about the face spots. I'm sure nobody notices the stitches. At least the doctors are taking them seriously and it sounds like suitable action will be taken! I know what you mean about sun-worshipping in the old days. I was also burnt red or dark reddish brown on many occasions during the 70's, 80's and even into the 90's ... it's lovely having a tan but no, we didn't know about the risks then. Anyway I hope your week improves.

nuttycow said...

Here's to a super rest of week Addy. Am glad you went to the doc and had it all looked at though. My mother has carcinoma on her hands that she regularly gets burnt out. Better safe than sorry!
x

www.retiredandcrazy.com said...

Yes the odd unexplained happening on our body is a bit worrying isn't it? I have a few spots, lumps and bumps that I am trying to ignore. I put it down to old age! I should be like you, "man up" and go the doctor. Maybe next week!

Flowerpot said...

So sorry to hear about your week, Addy. I think we all soaked up the sunshine when we were a certain age. But better safe than sorry and do hope your week gets much better x

K Ville said...

well I guess we can only say better off than on. fingers crossed it doesn't leave you too holey or too sore. good luck x Anniversaries of hard events are always dark clouds on a day, distraction helps yes, sometimes I guess you've just got to let it rain but know that the sun will come out tomorrow....dear lord I sound like Annie !!

Isabelle said...

My sympathies - I had a similar holeyness last year because of biopsies. I can see that it's not what you need now.

Nota Bene said...

Hopefully they'll decide what's wrong and sort you out quickly. Times will be better again soon I'm sure

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Sorry to hear you have been going through it Addy and hope it all gets sorted soon. I actually had a basal cell carcinoma removed about 11 years ago from my forehead (small pearly spot). As you say a bit scary but so far so good! A x

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for your post ... after reading your post I made an overdue appointment to see the skin checker. So easy to put of, so much better not to.
I often pop by your blog though seldom comment.... glad you continue to write.

Ellen said...

Sorry to hear about your health problems. I hope the growth on your chin will be nothing to worry about and will require no treatment. As for the area on your forehead, it sounds quite small and I'm sure your hair will cover any little mark. Best to get it all done and dusted and look forward to the spring. It'll soon be behind you. Take care x

DD's Diary said...

So sorry to hear about this! You must be very worried but the results are really good for removal for these things. I had a lump taken off the end of my nose ten years ago (literally on the tip - couldn't have been worse) and had six huge black stitches for a week, but now you can't see a mark. Big hug X